Categorized | Shabbos

Tips for a Relaxing Shabbos

Posted on 25 July 2010

Tips for a Relaxing Shabbos

Hi there. I want to give you tips for a relaxing Shabbos. I am going to divide them into 2 categories. People with young kids in the house and people without young kids in the house. I hope you can use these each week and get better and better at replenishing yourself and your family.

Tips for a relaxing shabbos for young Families

1. Sleep, glorious sleep- If you have young kids in your house, sleep may be a thing of the past. Here’s what you can do to give yourself much needed rest even if your kids wake up very early.

You can create a schedule that gives you more rest. For instance, my husband goes to shul at 8:30 AM. So, he lets me sleep until then. (8:30 is pretty good) He comes home at 11:30 AM and we all have lunch for an hour. After lunch- everyone sleeps from 1 until 3:30, sometimes 4. We don’t keep the kids up or go out to long lunches.

If you do not like this schedule, here is another example. Husband goes to the earliest minyan at shul- say 7. He is home by 10. You and your husband sleep until lunch, and the kids play with a mother’s helper. You can have long lunches this way.

No matter what schedule you keep, I recommend you hire a mother’s helper to come every Shabbos morning to play with the kids. I hired a 10 year old girl and I am always in the house with her, but sometimes I am able to get a 30 minute nap while she plays with the kids.

When I had a small baby in the house, I hired her to take my 2 year old to shul while the baby napped. This way I got a nap.

2. Have wonderful books to read. It is so cozy to lie in bed with your kids reading books or on the couch. Get some nice books for the kids or stories. You can download these inspirational stories for kids right here: Inspirational stories for kids

I find myself really connecting with my kids during reading time. And if your younger kids can’t sit still, have them play with your mother’s helper. (I pay her after Shabbos by the way. She’ll come on Sunday, do a little work, and then I pay her for her time on both Shabbos and Sunday)

3. Kids can look forward to Shabbos with special Shabbos treats. Trail mix, frozen popsicles, special shabbos shoes and hair accessories. It doesn’t have to be a dreaded day of no muktzah.

4. Put away all of your muktzah toys in a separate location so it isn’t even tempting for them to get into those toys. I bought a whole assortment of montessori activities because most montessori activities are not muktzah. Things like- threading work, pouring from one cup to the next with water, crinkle cutters for cutting pickles, wooden tower blocks.

5. Have the kids help you set the table. Put plates out, cut pickles, fold napkins, make salad, put out the dips, etc.

Create a salad bar-(from “For Shabbat lunch, try starting the meal with a “salad bar.” Everyone gets a bowl and the table is full of all sorts of choices for salads — sunflower seeds, soy beans, ground flax seeds, cranberries, olives, croutons, sprouts and vegies. They make their own according to taste, add their favorite dressing and it becomes a whole nutritious course!” I love this idea and the kids will too!

6. In the afternoon, go visiting. Catch up with friends and arrange playdates in advance.

Tips for a relaxing shabbos for adults

1. My absolute favorite activity on Shabbos is to read. I go to the library each week and pick out 6-7 books. The secret is that I have a librarian who preselects the books and gives me her favorite ones. They are wonderful. When she is not there, I hesitate to pick books out because I don’t want to read one that isn’t good.

Some of my favorite books to get you started are all of Jodi Picoult’s book, a book called “Me and Emma”, and Chris Bohalajan. If you’d like more personal recommendations, email me and I’d be happy to give you suggestions!

2. Visit your friends! On the long days of Shabbos, find a Shalosh Seudos (3rd meal) you can attend or host one of your own. The singing is beautiful and it is a lovely way to end Shabbos.

3. Get sentimental about your Shabbos foods. We look forward to guacamole each week and if we forget to make it, are very disappointed. Make special shabbos foods for yourself, even if it is just you, and find yourself really looking forward to eating them!

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